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Why Choose Emergency Medicine ?

By: Mohammad Abdullah Humanyun

Emergency medicine is the branch of medicine that is entrusted with the care of patients in their first emergency contact with the hospital. These doctors are often the first respondents in a variety of difficult and challenging medical situations for example blasts, accidents, homicide, and other unforeseen circumstances. Unfortunately, there is a web of unfounded myths surrounding the field of emergency medicine which often poses as a barrier for medical students wanting to opt for it. This article will debunk some of these myths and prove why emergency medicine remains a highly fulfilling specialty of medicine.

Myth 1 EM Doctors Suffer From High Burnout Rates

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can be argued that EM physicians suffer from high rates of burnout due to the demanding nature of their work. With appropriate self-care routines and self-reflection burnout can be avoided. Emergency doctors often work in shifts which means they do not have to carry any work from the hospital to their home. It also allows for a flexible schedule and keeps the boring mundane routine away. Burnout can happen to any person who doesn’t actively take care of themselves. With any specialty, in emergency medicine, it is important to have hobbies and nurturing relationships away from work which allow you to have a good work-life balance. Myth 2 EM Doctors Don’t Have Long-Lasting Relationships With Patients

While it is true that the nature of work in emergency medicine does not allow for prolonged patient-doctor interaction it does not mean that these interactions aren’t meaningful. Think about this, your younger sibling accidentally swallows a metal coin and you are rushing him to the hospital in a state of panic. On your first contact with the hospital, there is a doctor who urgently attends to the emergency while comforting you. Your state of panic slowly fades away seeing his/her calm demeanor. Their soothing words of comfort remain etched in your memory for life. Will you ever forget this doctor? Chances are you won’t. You are likely to remember them for life and remain grateful for their help at a very distressing time. This is how most patients remember their emergency physicians.

Myth 3 EM Doctors Don’t Specialize In Anything

Emergency medicine physicians are traditionally described as generalists in contrast to specialists which means that they deal with a wide range of presentations. However, there are a lot of specialization options after residency training in emergency medicine. Some of them include disaster management, toxicology, Emergency Psychiatry, and Wilderness Medicine. Learning is a lifelong process and training in EM prepares you for a wide range of challenging and fulfilling fellowships.

Myth 4 EM Is Not Fulfilling

Personally, I find this notion the most unfounded of all. Imagine helping someone who is in their most vulnerable state, won’t that be a highly satisfying experience? Emergency medicine equips you to give medical help to anyone, anywhere at any time. Your skills will often be the difference between life and death for many precious souls. Someone experiencing a heart attack in an airplane, victims of a catastrophic road accident, survivors of a wildfire, the list is endless. While doctors in other specialties might find work mundane after several years in their fields, emergency physicians deal with a variety of complex and challenging cases every day making work highly fulfilling. If you are in medicine because you want to help people and serve those who are in need then a highly fulfilling career in emergency medicine awaits you. It will give you the opportunity to use your skills and save lives in exciting environments. A perfect blend of lifelong learning, research, and action-packed work in the field, emergency medicine remains one of the most sought-after fields in the world for medical students.


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